Princess Gouyu felt anxious and furious, her mind completely blank as she left the capital.
She felt that she’d let Jiang Chen down, her mind full of the interactions she’d previously had with Jiang Chen.
The first time they’d met was in the imperial harem, where Jiang Chen had thoroughly lectured her.
The second time was at the Soaring Dragon manor, where Jiang Chen had sworn at the Pill King Garden, and sworn at the Duke of Soaring Dragon. That was the first time she’d seen a different side of Jiang Chen.
Afterwards, every interaction caused Princess Gouyu to tremble — to be surprised and overjoyed.
Jiang Chen had even given her pointers regarding the shackles of her martial dao, and had helped her join the ranks of the eleven meridians true qi masters.
Including the twenty percent dry shares from the Hall of Healing, and the glory of him suppressing the Long siblings in the Hidden Dragon Trials…
From beginning to end, Princess Gouyu couldn’t believe that such a breathtaking genius would fall just like this.
She wouldn’t believe it. Until she saw Jiang Chen’s corpse, Princess Gouyu would never believe.
Since her royal brother wouldn’t protect the Jiang family, her actions to protect them wouldn’t be an official matter, but a personal one.
At the doors of the Jiang family’s manor, Commander Tiandu said, “Long Yi, this is a grievance between you, the dukes. His Majesty can wash his hands of it. However, know when to stop. Don’t disturb the citizens or run wild in the capital. Otherwise, my Tiandu army is not a pushover.”
Long Yi smiled sinisterly, “Be at ease Commander Tiandu, our Long family have always conducted our matters with reason. We only seek to resolve our old score with the Jiang family, and absolutely won’t disturb or embroil anyone else within it, especially the citizens.”
“That would be best.” Commander Tiandu waved his hand, and left with the vast swathes of the Tiandu army.
Long Yinye smiled. What did the retreat of the Tiandu army mean? It meant that Eastern Lu had bent and given way! This also meant that the limelight of the Long family had already exceeded that of the royal family!
“Listen well, old and young of the Jiang family. Your unfilial son Jiang Chen ambushed the heirs of the Soaring Dragon dukedom within the Boundless Catacombs, and violated all of the heavenly laws of morality, defying the authority of the first duke. We are here today on orders of the duke of Soaring Dragon for a punitive expedition. Any of the Jiang family servants, followers, and guards, who are willing to turn over a new leaf, bring out the head of a Jiang family member with you. This is your chance to do a deed of merit. Otherwise, when this large army rushes in, no one shall be left alive.”
Long Yi’s voice rang out like a bronze gong, carrying the power of eleven meridians true qi with it as it spread throughout the entire Jiang family.
This was seeking to divide the masters and servants of the Jiang family — attempting to cause internal discord without even a fight!
However, Long Yi had underestimated the Jiang family’s degree of unity. All those within the Jiang family had faces full of tragic fury, the resolve to fight to the death imprinted on them.
Even the new followers that Jiang Chen had recruited had faces full of resolution. Their determination to live and die with the Jiang family was apparent without any need for words.
Jiang Feng’s expression was bitterly wry. He knew that, with the withdrawal of the Tiandu army, the Jiang family had still become Eastern Lu’s discarded pawn in the end, and been given up on by Eastern Lu.
“Everyone, if you leave now, I, Jiang Feng, will not find fault with you.” Jiang Feng said, as he swept his gaze in a circle.
The nearly one thousand death warriors of the entire Jiang family all shook their heads resolutely.
“Your Lordship, what kind of people would we be if we left now?” Jiang Ying’s fierce eyes held tears. “We’ve been indebted to Your Lordship these years for all your care, this is where we repay you with our deaths.”
Jiang Ying suddenly drew out his sword. “A Jiang family man can fall in battle, but can not surrender!”
“Fall in battle, no surrender!” Charged voices and righteous ardor were suffused with the resolve to rather die than be insulted.
“Your Lordship, when the fight starts later, we will block the opponents. Retreat when you find a good opportunity, and return to the Jiang Han territory. While there’s life, there’s still hope.” Jiang Ying counseled in a low voice.
Jiang Feng smiled faintly, “How am I, Jiang Feng, someone who drags out an ignoble existence?”
“Your Lordship, the greater picture is what’s more important.”
Jiang Feng shook his head, his gaze deep as he looked to the direction of the north east. The Boundless Catacombs were located there — news of his son was located there.
Only, Chen’er, are you still alive?
If you’re still alive, then what fear do I have if I die in battle? As long as the bloodline of my Jiang family remains, then there’s no fear that the events of today will remain unavenged.
If you’re not alive, and I live out a dismal existence, what meaning is there in that?
“The Jiang family can fall in battle, but not surrender.” Jiang Feng’s gaze suddenly became incomparably resolute as he yelled, his longsword in hand, and his heroic spirit soaring to the heavens. “Long Yi, come inside and fight to the death!”
Jiang Feng was a newly ascended true qi master. But ever since Jiang Chen had passed onto him the “Secret of the Nine Laughing Oceans”, his training had advanced at a tremendous pace, and his knowledge of the martial dao had risen by by more than just a single level.
Whether in terms of martial dao or experience, at this moment, Jiang Feng was actually fully on par with an eleven meridians true qi master.
Long Yi uttered a cry, “Alright, Jiang Feng, I will spill your blood first, and take your head!”
Long Yinye also called out loudly, “Everyone ready! He who captures the Jiang Han manor and obtains Jiang Feng’s head will be rewarded with ten thousand gold!”
An army thirty thousand strong roared in unison as their voices shook the clouds.
The battle could be triggered at any moment.
“Hold!” Princess Gouyu’s figure abruptly dashed in at that critical moment. “Long Yinye, I command you, in the name of the organizer of the Hidden Dragon Trials, to immediately withdraw your troops.”
“Withdraw my troops?” Long Yinye smiled. “Princess Gouyu, don’t get things wrong. This isn’t the Hidden Dragon Trials, but represents the grievances between dukes.”
“Your claim of Jiang Chen ambushing you happened during the Trials. As the organizer of the Trials, I naturally have the authority to intervene.”
“You?” Long Yinye laughed coldly. “This is something that even His Majesty, the king, isn’t paying attention to. Don’t you think that your intervention is a bit inappropriate, Your Highness?”
Princess Gouyu wielded her sword in her hands. One person and one sword stood on the stone steps outside the Jiang family manor.
The aura of an eleven meridians true qi master emanated without reservation. Her almond eyes raked over the scene, as she swept her gaze across the Duke of Soaring Dragon’s associates. “Have all of you forgotten that this is the capital? Long Yinye doesn’t know any better, and so you don’t know any better as well?”
“Princess Gouyu, I’ll remind you once again that this is a grievance between dukes. Since even His Majesty the king has washed his hands of the matter, you have no business in intervening in this matter.”
Long Yinye’s tone was becoming more and more domineering and tyrannical.
“I just so happen to want to intervene today.” Although Princess Gouyu was of the weaker sex, she was exceedingly stubborn. Her tone was indifferent and determined, “You’ll have to step over my dead body first, if you wish to move against the Jiang family.”
Long Yinye had never thought that even after Eastern Lu had given up on the Jiang family, Princess Gouyu would protect the Jiang Family with such a resolute attitude.
“Princess Gouyu, is the Jiang family really worth your actions?” Long Yinye wasn’t angered, and smiled instead.
“This has nothing to do with the Jiang family, I’m doing so only to ensure peace of my conscience.” A sense of firm determination was suffused within her diffident words.
“Since that’s the case, then forgive me for my offense.” Long Yinye was not one to have compassion for women. “Army, be at the ready — no matter who’s in the way, kill them!”
The army roared in unison.
In the moment that the great army prepared to move, a remote voice suddenly echoed through the air. It was sudden, but effective, as it penetrated and pierced through gold, shattered rock, and penetrated straight through the heavens.
A shrill bird cry accompanied this “kill”, as it broke through the air with the sound of ripping silk. At the same time —
A golden shadow suddenly dove down from the clouds with the speed of lightning.
Just as this golden shadow dove down, another sound of ripping silk split through the air, driving a stream of light as fast as a shooting star, as it descended with a loud crash.
An arrowhead — an arrowhead with unparalleled strength — shot unerringly towards Long Yinye.
This arrowhead was shot accurately towards Long Yinye, in front of the thirty thousand strong army.
“Be careful young duke!”
The unexpected arrival of this arrow was without any precursors, as if the immortals in the heavens had shot this life reaping arrow from the clouds.
Long Yi was the first to react, but too late to use his weapons to block the arrow. He hit upon an idea in his desperation, and abruptly shoved Long Yinye.
The arrow had already arrived by then, and pierced through Long Yi’s shoulder. It’s momentum wasn’t decreased as it shot through him and out behind him, coincidentally shooting through the chest of the heir of Yanmen, Yan Yiming, who was standing behind him.
The power of this arrow was as if a meat skewer, finally stopping after it shot through the fifth person.
Long Yinye had been pushed down by Long Yi, and was extremely bedraggled. He was about to rise, when two more whooshes broke through the air from the clouds.
The same arrowhead, the same power, the same wily angle.
This time, it was arrows to the left and right — two arrows in succession — making it impossible for Long Yinye to escape.
“Protect the young duke!” Long Yi was greatly agitated and leapt towards Long Yinye. Except, his shoulder was injured and he was still a step behind.
He flung himself forward and took another arrow to the back.
The other arrow shot unerringly into Long Yinye’s forehead, the arrowhead instantaneously piercing through the helm and drilling into his skull. The strong true qi sent Long Yinye and the arrow flying into the crowd, causing great disarray to the formation.
“Oh no, the young duke’s been shot!”
“The young duke’s been shot!”
This frightening scene completely dumbfounded the thirty thousand strong army, and caused them to dissolve into mass chaos.
This unexpected development had caused changes too fast for them to react to.
By the time they’d gathered their wits, Long Yinye’s forehead had taken an arrow and his status was unknown. Long Yi’s shoulder and back had been hit, and he was gravely injured.
“Look, the sky! Up in the sky!”
Shrill and domineering bird calls rang out from the air, cutting through the sky.
Two golden shadows burst through the clouds, hovering in the air above the manor.
“It’s Goldwing Swordbirds!”
“There seems to be someone on it, it looks like Jiang Chen!”
“And another one… Eh, he looks familiar, who is it?”
“It looks like the heir of Jinshan, Fatty Xuan!”
“No, that person isn’t fat at all, how would he be Fatty Xuan?”
On the back of the bird, Fatty Xuan was extraordinarily pleased with himself in that moment. He was fired up with boundless enthusiasm, and felt that his life had reached its peak at this step. He gathered up his true qi and yelled out, “You monsters and freaks dare assault a duke’s manor under broad daylight. Do you have any respect for the nation’s laws?”
“It really is Fatty Xuan.”
Some of the heirs who had flocked to Soaring Dragon’s banner finally recognized Fatty Xuan’s voice.
Jiang Chen held a bow in his hand, and pointed to the thirty thousand strong army from afar. Although it was only a bow and arrow, when it was locked onto the army, all of them shuddered with fear, and had the feeling that armageddon had arrived.
The leader of an army could be changed, but an ordinary person should have his own unswervable goal.
This thirty thousand strong army just so happened to be ordinary people whose goals had been taken.
There was no other reason. Even the mighty Long Yi had taken two arrows, and the arrogant Long Yinye had taken a headshot.
To descend from the sky with such aura and occupy a commanding height, it was easy to imagine the deterring force he emanated.
The world of martial dao was still one of the strong. Admiring the strong,and thus fearing the strong, was an eternally immutable truth.
“Long Yinye is the head of the evil that attacked my Jiang Han manor — and he has now been executed. You’ve been bewitched by him. Whether you choose to fight, or to make peace — to live or to die — it is your choice.”
Jiang Chen’s voice finally sounded from the back of the Goldwing Swordbird.
This scene made the heart of Princess Gouyu on the ground tremble — she was utterly dumbfounded. But she knew within her heart that she’d probably never be able to forget this scene for the rest of her life.
This was the descent of the divine weapon, as it turned back the powers of darkness.
This was the stuff of legends — of storytellers. Yet it was now playing out in real life, in the skies of the capital above the Jiang Han manor!